A new recovery centre for excessively drunk students is being planned in Cardiff. It is hoped that the new initiative will help to lighten the burden on emergency services such as ambulances and accident and emergency departments.
The project will involve building an ‘ARC’ (Alcohol Recovery Centre), which will be a space where very drunk people can be taken by police and ambulance services to sleep off their drunken stupor. This will essentially be a highly supervised room, providing a safe environment in which to regain sobriety.
One of the main aims of the project appears to be reducing the number of drunken students reaching A&E, and taking up the time of doctors and nurses over other patients with more life-threatening conditions.
The decision comes following a meeting, of representatives of the Student Union, the University, and University security, along with members of the University Hospital A&E department, the police and the health board. It was agreed at the meeting that excessive drinking in the student population was a problem and that it had to be addressed. It was also mentioned that drunken students were unnecessarily taking up beds in A&E departments which could be put to better use.
The project has already been pioneered in Soho, London, where an ARC was put into practice over the Christmas period. In its first weekend of operation it treated 78 people, all of whom would have otherwise been taken to A&E. The project there has since been extended to the end of March due to its success.
Planning for the the Cardiff ARC is still in its early stages, but a likely location is the medical facilities underneath the Millennium Stadium.